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Basement set up advice (1 Viewer)

KJG67

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Ken
Hi everyone. I'm basically a novice in the A/V world. I’m working on finishing my basement, and need some help regarding speakers and a receiver. I hope the info below makes some sense, as I'm trying to learn all of this.

The basement is L-shaped. The small, bottom part of the L will contain a surround system for TV/movies and gaming. I already have that set.

The area I need advice in is the long, rectangular section. The far end will have a bar and seating area (1/3 of the room), and the other 2/3 will be a pool table. Part of my concern is the area over 2/3 of the pool table will have a 7.5 ft ceiling while the other 1/3 and bar area will have a 9 foot ceiling due to structural and mechanical issues I can't get around. Width of the area is about 14 feet, and length about 27 feet.

For this area, sound will only be for sports from the bar TV, and music either from the radio, a turntable, or internet. Due to all of this, a surround system doesn’t make sense to me. Just for example purposes below, I’m throwing some Polk Audio speakers in for example. Total budget for receiver and speakers – I would like to keep it around $700 if at all possible.

So my questions/problems:

[*]TV will be behind the bar. Will probably use a soundbar for this area to keep it simple.
[*]I’m leaning towards using ceiling mount stereo speakers (Polk RC6s possibly), but am concerned about the ‘width’ of the sound with the low ceiling. I really don't know how many speakers I need, but placement is the concern.
[*]I was considering one centered over the pool table, but that may bounce sound off of the pool table light. I don’t know how much that would affect the overall quality. Sound would at least disperse reasonably equal around the table otherwise.
[*]I was considering putting one over each of the three rails under the short ceiling, but am concerned that it would be too loud underneath them, and too soft towards the corners of the table.
[/list][*]I'm also thinking about satellite speakers in the corners (Polk TL3 or OWM3) instead, but I either loose too much bass or they are bigger than I wanted. This tends to be where I’m leaning though.
[*]Also confused if I need a ‘stereo’ speaker, with connects to both channels (if you understand what I mean - RC6s’ for example), vs L/R speaker, in this particular set up.
[*]Any thoughts on a receiver with at least one HDMI input/output for cable/HDTV, one USB input for iPad, input for a turntable, at least four speaker outputs, and around 100W/channel? AM/FM tuner optional.
[/list]
Thanks for any advice, and correcting me where I have no idea what I’m talking about about.
 

schan1269

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Before you buy another for "here", What current AVR are you using?Does it have Zone 2?If this is all the same, integration with the current might be much simpler, or buying another AVR with abilities to do this. Keeping it separated is your choice though.And yes, we know what single source stereo speakers are. I recommended them for rear channel use on another thread.Yes, bass requires size. Simple physics. Are you wanting one channel to run one speaker, or are you wanting one channel to run 2,3,4...or whatever, via a speaker switch?
 

KJG67

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Ken
Hi Sam,

The unit I was planning on using for the 1st area is the Onkyo HT-S3500 5.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker/Receiver Package. It does have a 'B' L/R speaker output, but I don't think this will serve the purpose was looking for.

I did consider having just one unit for the entire basement. Problem is the kids may be playing video games in that area (with the volume in check), while the adults may be watching/listening to the game or music playing pool or sitting in the bar area. Rough drawing attached (bath is wrong and box for bar area should extend to include the whole bar). Pool table/bar area would be just one audio program - bar tv broadcast or music. I know there will be some sound overlap at the border.

I don't see this area having a front/center/rear or L/R speaker section, as the sound of a ball game or music should be equal and full where ever you are in that section of the room, which is why I was thinking stereo speakers would be best. If using a rear channel speaker for that sound quality would work, that may be where I'm getting confused. I didn't think rear speakers were full range and had to be separated L and R channels.

As for how many speakers to run - that's part of the question. Probably a sound bar in front of the TV for those sitting at the bar. And then 2-4 speakers over the sitting area and pool table area. I don't know if one ceiling speaker directly over the pool table at a 7.5 ft ceiling will disperse the sound wide enough to the corners of the table so that the tone is reasonably equal all the way around. Alternatively if I mount four ceiling speakers around the table, will the sound be tightly funneled directly under them, or is the sound pretty well dispersed in a wide cone right from the speaker? But mounting satellites in each of the corners I think may give the most even sound dispersal in the room, sans bass. I'm not sure where I could hide a sub-woofer in this area.

I know I can't have it all while staying within a budget and the constraints of the room. I'm just trying to find the best middle ground on performance, quality, and most importantly speaker placement with whatever I go with. Hopefully this all makes more sense.

Untitled.jpg
 

schan1269

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What is your total budget? You should at least consider the Onkyo 5500/5600, as it comes with a self powered sub.The point of Zone 2, is to do exactly what you are asking, which is why I mentioned it.There are AVR with Zone 2 HDMI as well. That would allow you to run two sources to two different TVs. That would keep you from having sources in both locations.And...The point of Zone 2 is separate volume control.
 

KJG67

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Yes, I was looking at the Onkyo TX-NR1010 for the dual HDMI inputs/outputs for the different TVs and the 2 zones I need. However, that puts me at $1000 right there without any speakers. I want to keep the entire basement under a $1000. I know it's low-end in the grand scheme of things, but that's really around what I have to work with. It's not that large of an area overall.

The Onkyo HT-S3500 is $279 and takes care of the one room completely, and the sound quality is more than acceptable for us at least. I have an earlier version in the main TV area of our house.

My impasse is how to handle the speakers in the other room first - best type and best placement. Then I can work backwards to a receiver to handle everything - the other HDTV behind the bar, phono inputs for the turntable, AM/FM tuner, and USB/Ethernet input for internet radio. A surround system in the large area isn't needed.

If I went with four of any version of the speakers listed above, that would be around $500. Add a stereo receiver for another $200 (Onkyo TX-8050 or Yamaha R-S500BL for example) and I've hit the mark, minus cables/wiring.

May have to head over to ABT and talk to them for some ideas. There's just no A/V shops around here anymore like there were many years ago.
 

schan1269

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If $1000 is your budget, keeping things separate is the least expensive route.You don't need a new receiver(don't even need an AVR) for the large area.If strictly 2.0, you can get away with a TV as the video hub...cause in your case...you can live with the 2.0 limitation.Just make sure the TV has/allows...1. USB, networking audio to leave the set(Not all do, which is why Roku/Am. Fire are popular).2. Analog audio output (could buy an adapter...just skips that step)A receiver I recommend, plentiful used...and cheap.Denon DRA. Any number after the DRA. I had a 335 for years, then gave it to a former gf, and she still has it.
 

schan1269

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Just thought of something.Buy an older, pre-HD AVR.(meaning, doesn't even have component) Such as...Technics SA-DA10N*Those have a following as they were engineered to work with DVD-A.TA-KE capacitors(basically, bamboo) were ahead of their time.*Technics/Panasonic made some great AVR back in the day.Anything that shows DTS on the front is worth buying.Technics SA-DA (any numbers)Panasonic SA-HE (any numbers)Some of them will even have all channel stereo. And will allow DPL for when you want it.
 

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